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FD: 2 men die, 4 firefighters suffer heat injuries in Avondale hazmat incident

AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Two men have died after being exposed to hazardous materials at a commercial truck wash in Avondale. Four firefighters who were working the scene also suffered heat-related injuries during the operation.

At around 1 p.m. on Sunday, the two men somehow got trapped in the tanker vault of a semi-truck while it was in the bay at Danny’s Truck Wash near 101st Avenue and Interstate 10. Fire crews say the men were exposed to “residual” chemicals inside the empty tank. The exact nature of the chemical has not been released.

“Unfortunately, we did have two fatalities on scene at the car wash,” said Ben Avitia, Deputy Fire Chief with Avondale Fire and Medical. “They were down in the tank.

A short time later, fire crews made entry into the truck washing bay. They were able to recover the bodies of the two men.

Due to the length of the recovery operation and the heat of the day, four firefighters suffered heat-related illnesses and had to be transported to the hospital. Their conditions are not known. Avitia said it was a long process to recover the bodies. “Those guys were in those suits. Again, they don’t breathe, no air movement,” he said. “We did have four firefighters that had heat-related injuries and symptoms.”

Dozens of firefighters from multiple departments responded to the scene, including the Phoenix and Goodyear Fire departments. No further information was released.